Shark fishing is now banned in Hawaii for the first time.
The new law went into effect January 1 after the passage of House Bill 533, reports Hawaii News Now.
It is now illegal to knowingly capture, entangle or kill sharks in Hawaii’s marine waters.
Offenders could be fined $500 for the first offense and $10,000 for repeat offenses, according to KITV.
The bill makes no mention of shark fin soup. California has banned the consumption of shark fin soup since 2013 out of fear the popularity of the delicacy has led to the killing of sharks just for their fins.
“We are well aware of how important sharks are to maintain healthy marine ecosystems. We also recognize their importance in native Hawaiian cultural practices and beliefs,” said Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Administrator Brian Neilson in a statement.
The killing of sharks for public safety purposes will still be allowed in Hawaii.
Fisherman who capture sharks accidentally should release them and avoid bringing them onto the vessel.
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